Pro-lifers in Toledo, Ohio hope to redeem the site of an old abortion facility by turning it into a memorial for the unborn babies who were killed there.
The Catholic site Crux reports pro-lifers purchased the site of the old Center for Choice of Toledo abortion clinic after it closed in 2013.
Ann Barrick said she prayed outside the abortion facility for nine years with 40 Days for Life before it finally shut its doors.
“You pray about these things, and you never think you’re going to see it happen,” Barrick said. “It can’t be anything but prayer. There’s no reason this place should have come down.”
The abortion facility operated in Toledo for 30 years, killing more than 50,000 unborn babies in abortions, according to the report. In the summer of 2013, the facility closed when its transfer agreement with the taxpayer-funded University of Toledo Medical Center expired. State health inspectors also uncovered health and safety violations at the facility earlier that year, LifeNews reported.
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Three years later, the abortion facility has been bulldozed, and local pro-life groups are working together on plans to create a memorial for unborn babies on the now vacant site.
Here’s more from the report:
Denise Emerine purchased the land two years ago with the aid of many sponsors. “We really felt that the Lord was wanting this to be a place to engage people and not be a place of death,” said Emerine, who also directs the Greater Toledo House of Prayer. “He is the redeeming God. He’s bringing hope. Out of the ashes he’s bringing beauty.”
The group, which also includes representatives from Catholic Charities, the Foundation for Life and local crisis pregnancy centers, christened the site “Hope Park” and wants to complete the memorial by October 2017. Artistic renderings show a grassy area adorned with trees that has two paths leading to three free-standing walls. “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Love” are emblazoned on the walls, along with verses from Chapter 61 of the Book of Isaiah.
Plans also include a “Wall of Remembrance” where mothers can add the names of unborn children. A single dogwood tree that once marked the entrance of the clinic will remain on the grounds as the “Tree of Hope,” symbolizing the triumph of life.
The estimated total cost for the memorial $610,000, according to the report.
Mandy Sattler, one of the pro-lifers helping with the memorial plans, had an abortion at the facility nine years ago. She said being involved in the project is giving her hope and helping her to heal.
“To know that the building had been taken down, it was a sign for me: God’s taking care of this, he’s big enough for this, you can let go,” Sattler said.
Pro-lifers are planning to hold a thanksgiving service at the future Hope Park site on Oct. 6.